Shawn Maxam explains why most people continue to engage in unhealthy behaviors well into adulthood.
Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of your maturity is how spiritual you become during the midst of your frustrations.
The ability to recognize boundaries is very difficult. Many of us believe we are emotionally mature individuals but the test to determine if this true is whether or not we recognize the intangible amorphous quality of boundaries.
Boundaries are a loosely defined concept of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual space. Examples include: A male work colleague calling a married woman at midnight is over-stepping a boundary. A mother showing up at her married son’s home unannounced to spend the night is ignoring a boundary.
Children ignore boundaries all the time. It is usually because they don’t have the emotional capacity to recognize them. Children have emotional needs and they expect them to be met immediately. Adults (matures ones) recognize that a lot of their needs can either 1) Be met at only at a specific time or 2) Can never be met at all.
Just because we want something doesn’t mean we get to have it. Tantrums, violence (psychological and physical) and passive-aggressive behavior are tactics used by emotionally immature individuals who don’t have their boundary breaking needs honored.
Parents who guilt us, spouses who shame us, friends who alienate us, work colleagues who dismiss us and so forth are all people engaging in unhealthy behaviors that do irreparable harm to our emotional well-being. Please do not allow this to happen. Please do not participate in doing this to others.
The best way to gauge whether a behavior or action is boundary crossing is to just ask a simple question “is this behavior that is healthy for all parties involved?”. Everyone involved should benefit. Not just you or only the second individual or only the third-party etc. We often do things because they make us feel better. We often do not consider how the other person(s) will feel.
Our emotions are always valid. But how we express them is the difference between what makes us either emotionally mature adults or just bratty, inpatient, spoiled individuals (essentially babies trapped in adult bodies). The choice is always ours.
Please share this with friends, enemies and temporary allies alike.
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